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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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Comments

Gail F

Another great reason to move confirmation up, at least in the USA, is that many people confuse it with the various Protestant confirmations, which are when young people "decide for themselves" to be Christians and dedicate themselves to the Lord, or some variation on this. It is difficult to convince many Catholic parents and teachers that children preparing for this sacrament do not especially have to agree to be confirmed, or to do something specific to prepare for it (of course these things are desirable but they are not necessary). I have told many astonished people that the church could give this sacrament to infants but chooses not to -- sometimes they don't believe me.

Sandra Miesel

The change in age of First Communion ordered by St. Pius X didn't take effect right away. Even after it did, some areas retained the odd custom of the "Big Communion" celebrated with great solemnity by 12-14 year olds who had already made their First Communion at age 6 or 7.

Matthew

With all due respect for St. Pius X, I think this change he instituted is/was an awful idea. It has made Confirmation look like a "sacrament in search of a theology" as one theologian put it. I am very glad to see bishops starting to properly order the sacraments again. Special kudos to Bishop Alex Sample of Marquette, Mich., who re-ordered his entire diocese a couple of years ago. Now everyone receives Baptism - Confirmation - Eucharist.

Steve Cianca

Carl,

Thanks for answering my questions. When I was confirmed (back in the dark ages), I was in fifth grade. The theology behind confirmation then was that the reception of this sacrament meant that you were now considered an adult in the faith (receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit) and expected to defend it. At that time the bishop gave each confirmandus a ritual "slap" on the cheek to symbolize one's readiness to suffer for one's faith. We were to consider ourselves "milites Christi" --soldiers of Christ.

Matthew,

When do children now receive Confirmation/ Eucharist in your diocese?

Fr. Richard

Not trying to be picky here Gail, but perhaps you should say the Church DOES give this sacrament to infants. It is just in the Latin rite that this is not the present day custom, unless a child is in danger of death. (See Catechism #1306-1307). So you never have to try to convince anybody...ha! Just tell them to look it up as above, and also # 1290-1292.

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